Before you even think of starting a company you have got to get your operating systems down!
To learn linux:
Grab an old box, and put CentOS 3.4 or 3.5 on it. Do not install a GUI!!
Then learn how to install all the game servers on the box. Contantly maintain all these servers for about 3 months, and after 3 months you will have a better idea of Linux. It is also good to read up on the OS you are using.
CentOS is RHEL, basically, so yes if you learn RHEL you would be able to learn CentOS, but since RHEL costs money and CentOS doesnt I would go with CentOS. Fedora Core is ok too, but not the best for game servers.
Plus look at the games you plan on hosting, make sure the ones you plan on hosting have a native Linux port. You dont want to have to run a high performance game server using wine(Cedega). I host a couple game servers (Americas Army and BF2) on Slackware Linux. I am thinking on switching to CentOS but have not made up my mind yet. Slackware runs really good on my server, where as CentOS on this box is a big unknown.
Some of the games I know that have a Linux Server Port:
Return To Castle Wolfenstein
Enemy Territory (True Combat Mod is a nice addition)
UT2K4 ( Some nice mods are out for this as well)
America's Army (Current Version 2.4 has not been publicly released yet for Linux)
Battle Field 2
Half Life 2
These are some of the more popular game people play.
Originally posted by shumia If you're a newbie i'd say install the GUI, it'll help ya.
I disagree. The GUI will help you initially, but when running the dedicated server you will not have an access to the gui for the most part. Learn the command line, it works on all Linux platforms and is infinitely more powerful that any gui could ever be.
He will have to use the CLI to run most game servers.
For setup of the server yes he could install a GUI, configure the box the way he wants it, then setup /etc/inittab so the server only boots into a text environment which will cut down on the amount system resources that are taken up. But having a dedicated server booting into a GUI is a waste of resources. A game server has no need to have a GUI running while it is hosting games.
He could still run the GUI applications that are installed on the server remotely using ssh X forwarding if needed.
Yes but hanzerik you are not getting it, when he gets a server from a dedicated servers provider he will not have a GUI!!!! He could always install webmin though.
I set my test box next to me up to be exactly like my VPS (minus cPanel). It is the perfect learning tool.
Ah, I'm not a user of Colo,Dedicated, datacenters, etc so I'm sort of new to the terms used. I was under the impression that when he said dedicated he meant that he was buying it and would have physical access to it.
I just found this forum a few days ago, and thought I would look around and see what this was all about, maybe see if there were questions I could help out with. Sorry for the confusion.
PS: Webmin is a nice utility for admining a server, I use it on my slackware (home) Server. Really simple to setup and get running on most of the popular Linux distros.
If remote "users" are going to want access to this machine you can also check out Usermin. More of a user interface for normal users, Webmin is more for Admins. Usermin has web-based Email, file management, cron jobs, etc. Too many features to discuss.
I'll have to try that with Webmin(Start/stop/edit) my gameservers. Never tried it.
I built a php web Admin interface for my America's Army GameServer. Never found one that I liked so I built my own, they include a win32 server control with the game but us linux users have been left out of the loop so we have to fend for ourselves.
I've been a big fan of linuxquestions.org for years now. If you have a Linux question make a post and wait a couple minutes and you may have the answer you are looking for.
Actually I am in the process of getting a GSP together for my organization and I found the optimum solution to be windows 2003 STD, basically for nothing else but 100% game support. it is an extra license fee but if a client comes to you and you cannot support his game he will just go to the guy down the road that does support it, lose one of those a month and thats about a $50 customer and a missed client opportunity.
I am a linux guy myself almost exclusively and have run gameservers on both linux and windows and they both run about the same as far as cpu usage/games per machine, etc.
for control panel I am using tcadmin and I am VERY happy with their company, really a top notch product and excellent support
actually for windows licenses and I colocate as well you can lease them from the data center, windows 2003 std is normally 20-30/mo depending on which dc you choose
I would say to to the linuxquestions.org to learn or take a ride to amazon.com to see their linux book options and reviews, I have no personal recommendations on that as of yet since I learned the hard way...break....fix...break...fix...rinse...repeat